That glorious, Dakota winter

That glorious, Dakota winter The sun offers viewers a beautiful display as it dips below the bluffs of the Missouri River in southwest Clay County, plunging the region in darkness and cold until dawn the next day. It is winter in Dakota.

Not the alternating rain and mud, and snow and slush, freezing and thawing of the southern states;

Not the ice bound winter of the New England coast where the fog blows in from the sea shrouding the land in frozen vapor;

Not yet the reek and drizzle of the Pacific slope where the fog rarely lifts and the sun seldom shines from fall to spring. But brisk, crisp, biting winter.

Winter with a breath of bubbling ozone spiced with health and joy. The mercury dips down to twenty � thirty � sometimes forty below � but "what of it?" Nobody freezes, nobody suffers. It only makes the cheeks glow and fingers tingle as the red corpuscles play football through our veins. Jack Frost may nip an ear or pinch a toe for you, but he is a great artist and great artists are given to little idiosyncrasies. Go out on a sharp morning and see what a landscape he has wrought. From a hundred chimney tops, as far as the eye can reach, great fleecy columns raised straight toward heaven unfolding their beauty like gorgeous, white chrysanthemums bursting into bloom;

Every blade of grass is studded with diamonds, a king's ransom hangs suspended in the air. Released from the stalls, herds of sturdy Galloways, of broadbacked Herefords and mild-eyed Jerseys, are gathered on the sunny side of the straw ricks chewing the cud of contentment. From out of the hay mow echoes the homely cackle of busy "biddies" lining their nest with "two cent" eggs. The wheel tire creaks a shrill medley of the frosty track while the roadside wires, linking the farmstead to the throbbing heart of the great busy world, keyed to Aeolian pitch, fill the ear with their rhythm. The bouquet of rich old wine is in the air. It races through the veins, mounts the brain, sparkles in the eye, and bursts from lips in laughter and shouting.

Sing, if you please, the glories of the tropics, of teeming, swarming life, or perennial�foliage, and flowers and fruit; extenuate the lukewarmness of more temperate climes and endure the penetrating chill of lower altitudes � if you know no better � but give me the cheers, rejuvenating, glorious Dakota winter.

Editor's note: This appeared in a 1914 issue of the Freeman Courier. The only reference to its author reads, "we like to read how Editor Osbourn describes the South Dakota winter." R.F. Osbourn was the first publisher of the Courier, and it is assumed that the reference to "Editor Osbourn" means him. Our thanks to Courier Publisher Tim Waltner for allowing us to reprint this article.

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